“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
Oh man, you know it’s about to get real when I start a blog post with a Michael Jordan quote.
This is a blog post about failure.
Failure is not something I’m very familiar with.
I’ve been fortunate enough to not fail very often. I’m not talking about schoolwork, necessarily (I suck at math, OK?). I’m talking about in life in general. I mean that in the things I try for, 9.9 out of 10 times, I succeed. I try new things and fly by the seat of my pants, even in some situations that I probably shouldn’t, and still succeed. I’m very lucky.
Internships? No problem. Jobs? I apply and I get them. Leadership positions in student organization? In the bag.
Everything goes right until it doesn’t.
Recently, I tried for one of the biggest roles of my life so far. And guess what?
I didn’t get it.
And the world didn’t end.
In fact, I’m still alive, well, happy, healthy… the list goes on and on. I failed and I survived. Man, that’s a nice thought.
I don’t even know where my fear of failure started. I don’t even know if I can call it that. I was taught and shown skills as a child that I still use today that help me succeed in the things I attempt. Since I was a little kid, I’ve been a leader.
The one other failure that I remember was in fifth grade. I wanted to be the student council vice president, so I created a “campaign.” We weren’t allowed to pass out candy or anything. We weren’t allowed to do any campaigning, essentially, other than through word of mouth. We definitely weren’t allowed to call other students’ houses and ask them to vote.
The night before the election, I got a phone call. This phone call happened to be from my vice presidential opponent. He didn’t know I was running.
Long story short, he won. I didn’t. That was my failure. It was disappointing, but I moved on.
That’s the important part of failure. Moving on. Learn from the outcome and move on.
If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.
If I would have dwelled on my student council loss, who knows what would have happened. Also, that would be terribly sad seeing as it was just fifth grade student government. Somehow, I survived without the title.
If I dwell on failure, it festers and grows. Why should I waste my time on something that has already happened or been decided when I could work toward my next success?
Don’t forget that failure often leads to other opportunities–maybe even ones that you wouldn’t have had if you had succeeded previously. And, hey, if you failed, maybe it was for a reason. Maybe you wouldn’t have been a good fit. Maybe you need more time to develop your skills. I digress.
Failure sucks. That’s one moral of this blog post. I hate it. It’s hard. But should you focus on failure? NO! Please, for your own sake and for the sake of the lives you could be changing instead of dwelling on one setback, don’t get hung up on failure. What could you do instead of focusing on failure? Here’s a non-comprehensive list:
- Cooking food
- Talking to friends
- Drinking a coffee with cool latte art on it
- Petting dogs 🙂
- Practicing your writing (START A BLOG!!!!!)
- Appreciating the nice weather outside since it’s supposed to snow again next week
- Reading books
- Practicing whatever you failed at so you can do better next time
Maybe you just read this post and thought “man, I don’t identify with what she wrote at all. I have never failed in my entire life.” If that’s you, I’m envious. Please share your secrets.
If you did, however, find some common ground with me and reflect on a failure you’ve had in the past, how did you overcome it? What tips do you have for people who fail?